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Trump Signs Budget Deal After Brief Shutdown

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky (CBS) 

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky (CBS) 

Early Friday morning, President Donald Trump signed a $500 billion budget package into law, ending a brief government shutdown.

The budget package, a temporary plan to help run the government until March 23, aims to lift spending caps. The plan was passed in the House of Representatives 240-186, with 73 Democrats pitching into the bipartisan effort.  

Some of the plan’s biggest highlights include allocating $90 billion in disaster relief funding for the damages caused by the multiple hurricanes and wildfires, as well as increasing defense and non-defense spending by roughly $300 billion to help support military programs.

Before the House’s vote, the plan was met by critics from both sides of the aisle, most notably from Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). Paul, known as a fiscal conservative, took to the Senate floor and slammed his colleagues, arguing “When the Democrats are in power, Republicans appear to be the conservative party… but when Republicans are in power, it seems there is no conservative party. The hypocrisy hangs in the air and chokes anyone with a sense of decency or intellectual honesty."

(Mark Wilson) 

(Mark Wilson) 

Paul’s stance was met by some of his Republican colleagues, who agree that the spending plan fails to align with conservative values. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) suggested, “The spending proposal is disgusting and reckless-the biggest since 2009.” Rep. Dave Brat, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, also added, “It’s a Christmas tree on steroids.”

Democrats, looking for a deal on immigration for DACA recipients, were met with little luck. DACA, a focal talking point for both Republicans and Democrats, was one of the major causes of a government shutdown that occurred earlier this year in January.

While Congress still has until March 5 to determine the fate of DACA recipients, the fate of DACA recipients ultimately lies in the hands of Republican politicians. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill), noted that Democrats “had little leverage on immigration” in reaching a compromise for the budget proposal.

Despite backlash from both sides of the aisle, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wi) took credit for the plan, noting, “ultimately, neither side got everything it wanted in this agreement, but we reached a bipartisan compromise that puts the safety and well-being of the American people first.”